Problem with Genitive on HW

By anon.mouse, in 'Latin Beginners', Apr 19, 2011.

  1. anon.mouse New Member

    Nōnne ūnum exemplum luxuriae aut cupiditātis multum malī facit?

    I didn't have much difficulty with this sentence, except for the emboldened part. My first attempt:

    "Does not one example of luxury or cupidity make much of evil?"

    I know that the correct translation is "does not one example of luxury or cupidity make much evil?"

    Maybe this is a genitive of description, but I just don't get why the original Latin wouldn't be "nōnne ūnum exemplum luxuriae aut cupiditātis multum malum facit?

    What am I missing about the genitive usage or the sense of the original, strictly translated Latin?

    Just an idea-- maybe the sense of the Latin is strictly--

    "Does not (merely) one example of luxury or cupidity make/produce much of an evil (thing)?

    I know it sounds funny--and Wheelock strictly proscribes against this--but I've found that in language learning strict translations are very helpful to me, even if the English turns out not being as elegant as it could otherwise be.

    So, what do you think?

    Thanks in advance. The people on this forum are so great to us beginners.
  2. paola New Member

    Re: Problem with Gentiive on HW

    Hi, your translation "does not one example of luxury or cupidity make much evil?" is correct.
    The genitive is a partitive one and the meaning is exactly the same as "multum malum"
    :)
    However, it would be better to translate "only one", because when the word UNUS/M is expressed in latin it means a real number... only one, not two or three.
    I beg you to forgive my english, I'm an italian teacher of latin :)
  3. Cinefactus Censor

    • Censor
    Location:
    litore aureo
    Re: Problem with Gentiive on HW

    Welcome Paola :)
  4. anon.mouse New Member

    Re: Problem with Gentiive on HW

    Would you know why a Roman would prefer multum ma[i-long:2mok57ek][/i-long:2mok57ek] to multum malum?

    Thanks for the help! Great Latin and English. :p
  5. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Saxonia
    Re: Problem with Gentiive on HW

    because he can
  6. Imprecator Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Colchis
    Re: Problem with Gentiive on HW

    I was about to compose a lengthy, detailed exploration into the difference between the partitiuus and the simple adjective, but Bitmap pretty much nailed it.
  7. anon.mouse New Member

    Re: Problem with Gentiive on HW

    I'm not against such explanations! However, Bitmap's is probably all I really need given my current level of accomplishment! After all, I often make similar choices in English with regard to, say, possessives. I.e., "John's dog" versus the "dog of John." I typically don't think twice about it.
  8. paola New Member

    Re: Problem with Gentiive on HW

    Thank you :)
    anon.mouse asks "Would you know why a Roman would prefer multum malī to multum malum?"
    I don't really know that, but the use of partitive genitive is very frequent in Latin, it is a typical Latin construction, as well as your saxon genitive (even if the partitive one does not mean a possession, of course)

    Regards!
  9. Decimvs Aedilis

    • Aedilis
    In the event that you want to see it in its original context, it is from Seneca's Moral Epistles 1.7:

    Subducendus populo est tener animus et parum tenax recti: facile transitur ad plures. Socrati et Catoni et Laelio excutere morem suum dissimilis multitudo potuisset: adeo nemo nostrum, qui cum maxime concinnamus ingenium, ferre impetum vitiorum tam magno comitatu venientium potest. [7] Unum exemplum luxuriae aut avaritiae multum mali facit: convictor delicatus paulatim enervat et mollit, vicinus dives cupiditatem irritat, malignus comes quamvis candido et simplici rubiginem suam affricuit: quid tu accidere his moribus credis in quos publice factus est impetus?

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